Laguna Seca: Highcroft Racing preview

Patron Highcroft Racing Aims to Conclude ALMS LMP2 Campaign in Style Patron Highcroft Racing will head to the final round of the American Le Mans Series - the Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Patron, on October 17-18, with the ...

Patron Highcroft Racing Aims to Conclude ALMS LMP2 Campaign in Style

Patron Highcroft Racing will head to the final round of the American Le Mans Series - the Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Patron, on October 17-18, with the intention of concluding its highly successful LMP2 campaign in style. The Danbury, CT, based team will complete its last race in the category, as they will move to LMP1 with Acura in 2009.

The Patron Highcroft Racing team, with drivers Scott Sharp and David Brabham, have been at the forefront of the LMP2 championship battle all season, capturing four race wins, including one overall victory, two overall pole positions and seven podium finishes in 10 rounds. But Patron Highcroft Racing's mission for the driver and team title fights was brought to a premature end when the Acura ARX-01b was forced to retire after 17 laps at the penultimate Petit Le Mans round. With both the team and drivers secure in their respective second-place championship standings, Patron Highcroft is ready to go all out for victory and return to its winning ways as it signs off from the LMP2 category at Laguna Seca.

"We're looking to bounce back after a rough weekend in Atlanta. We've done it before - after the race in Salt Lake City (earlier this season, where the team finished ninth in class) we came back to win overall at Lime Rock. So, we know we can do it," said Patron Highcroft Racing's team principal Duncan Dayton. "Our team has grown tremendously this year. The effort put forth to build a car from scratch overnight in Atlanta in time for qualifying was amazing. It's been a great season and our experiences this year have made this team stronger and more determined then ever, especially when it comes to ending our P2 campaign on a high note."

Relishing the prospect of his first ALMS outing at the California circuit, Scott Sharp commented: "Being an East Coast boy, I didn't grow up at this track, and I had never even been to Laguna until I ran my first IndyCar race there, which was quite an experience. The only other race I've run there was a Grand-Am race with my father-in-law, Greg Pickett, a few years ago, so it's still a track that I probably need to get some laps on. Highcroft had a pretty good run there last year, until an altercation with another car put them off in the sand, but once again it ought to be a great track for our car. It's the type of track that suits the downforce we now have in the Acura, so I think it should be a really good season-ending race for us."

With plenty of experience at Laguna Seca, having clinched his 1998 Professional Sports Car Championship title with Panoz and a GTS class win at the circuit in 2003, David Brabham is looking forward to the four-hour race. "Laguna is one of my favorite places to visit; the Monterey Peninsula is stunning. It was the first track I raced at in America, back in 1987 in a Formula Atlantic car," said Brabham. "It's a historic place, and it's great to race there. In one of these cars it's pretty quick, but because it's low-grip, and we race at night when it gets pretty cold, keeping temperature in the tires is quite tricky. We had a pretty competitive race there last year, and I feel we'll be even stronger this year with what we now know about the car and all the modifications we've made."

The final round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series is the Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Patron from the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The four-hour race into darkness is scheduled to start at 2:45 pm PT on Saturday, October 18. NBC Sports will air the race from 2 to 4 pm ET on Sunday, October 19. XM Satellite Radio's Channel 144 will air the race from 4 to 8 pm ET on Sunday, October 19.

-credit: hr

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Duncan Dayton , David Brabham , Scott Sharp , Greg Pickett